Picture of Mark Zahra

Mark Zahra

Mark has been involved with WP RSS Aggregator for almost a decade, from running customer support to now leading RebelCode, the company behind the plugin. He has a passion for content and news, especially the concept of ethically sharing content to help each other grow.

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Is RSS Dead? Nope, We’ve Proven Otherwise

Wondering if RSS is dead? This article tackles just that. Learn all about RSS and its relevance in 2024.
Is RSS dead

RSS has been around for a long time. But, is it still relevant in 2024?

Some people say RSS is dead. Others believe it’s still alive and well.

So what’s the truth? Is RSS dead? Is it still relevant in today’s content marketing strategies?

Let’s find out.

Is RSS Dead? 

No, RSS is not dead. While its usage has declined over the years, a lot of content creators and consumers still depend on it. 

RSS was first introduced to the world over 2 decades ago and initially designed to facilitate the syndication of news articles. Since then, it has gone through various iterations and improvements, making it better while also expanding its function beyond just basic news syndication to a more curated aggregation of various content types. This shows how adaptable RSS has been over the years, making it a good choice for people who want to easily get and share digital content.

For these reasons, RSS is still an important part of many content marketing strategies. In fact, even with new technology coming out, RSS remains useful because it lets people keep up with their preferred websites easily, making it relevant in today’s digital landscape where content marketing is so heavily focused on personalization and curated content. 

So don’t count it out just yet. RSS is very much alive and active.

Is RSS Still Relevant Today?

Yes, it is. Although the usage of RSS has declined over the years, its relevance is still strong. There are several reasons why we think so, but one stands out the most; information overload. 

The internet has grown bigger, which means there is more information on the net than ever before. Reports predict that about 147 zettabytes of information will be created every day in 2024. A huge amount of that is on the internet. 

This means that while there is a lot of information now, finding the right one easily and efficiently is a problem. That is why RSS is more relevant today than ever before. 

As said by Mark Zahra, CEO of RebelCode, “I see the continued importance of RSS for website owners and content creators. It allows them to distribute their content efficiently and reach a wider audience without relying solely on search engine rankings or social media algorithms. As a website owner and content creator myself, I’ve experienced firsthand the benefits of using RSS to distribute my content. It’s been an invaluable tool for reaching my audience and keeping them informed about new updates and articles on my website.”

For this reason and many others, we don’t think RSS is going away any time soon. 

Five Reasons Why RSS Is Not Dead

Contrary to what you might have heard, we believe RSS aggregators are a much needed tool that plays a huge role in the way people consume news online. Admittedly, its usage has waned since the exit of promoters like Google Reader, Feedburner, and Digg Reader.

However, the technology is still very much in use. Here are some reasons why we think RSS is not dead.

Sites like Feedly, Inoreader, and Flipboard still heavily rely on RSS to provide content to their users. These sites have built a large following by providing a great user experience and tons of valuable content.

Feedly, for instance, has become very popular. They currently have over 15 million users and are growing rapidly. Flipboard, on the other hand, prides itself on over 145 million monthly users globally

Flipboard RSS Feed with Content Curation

Now, with the advent of modern aggregation tools like WP RSS Aggregator which most content curation sites are being created with, it makes RSS even more popular. This is because these tools have become better, making RSS feeds not only more convenient to deploy, but also more attractive. 

So yes, RSS feeds are still being used for many other purposes other than just how it initially was used in the past.

2. Readers Love RSS

After Google Reader called it quits in the RSS business, more than 500,000 users joined Feedly within 48 hours. Two weeks later, that number had increased to a staggering three million. What does this tell us? 

Maybe the problem was with the functionality of Google Reader itself and not due to declining reader interest as it claimed. In fact, according to a blog post by the developer of Instapaper Marco Arment, Google closed Google Reader because it was trying to push users to the now-defunct Google+. 

The massive migration to Feedly proves that readers trust and love the convenience of RSS. For instance, the same year that Google abandoned the RSS feed market, Feedly put up a paid version of their service. Guess what? They managed to raise over $500K in 8 hours after 5,000 people subscribed. 

The fact that Feedly could launch a paid version and get a massive show of support right away is a clear message from readers: that they love their RSS feeds. 

3. Most People Don’t Trust Social Media

If you ask most people why they think RSS is dying, they will say it is because of social media. Although that is true, it is a fact that with increased usage there is also a growing mistrust in social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. According to the Pew Research Center’s study on news media platform trends, a quarter of US adults prefer to receive news content from trusted sources or news websites over other platforms like social media. 

News outlets and other content providers are constantly battling against the ever-changing algorithms of these platforms. They can (and often do) bury valuable content in an instant. The thought that someone controls what you see and what you can’t doesn’t sit well with most people. 

Now, publishers and many news consumers are calling for RSS to be revived. Even Google, which had lost faith in RSS all those years ago, stepped back into the RSS market recently. According to a Gizmodo report, Google had incorporated a ‘follow’ feature on its Chrome browser back in 2021 that let you follow RSS and Atom feeds from different publishers. 

Follow button on Google Chrome
Following feed on Google Chrome

4. Investors Believe In RSS

In 2015, Flipboard received a $50 million funding round from JP Morgan. Flipboard is one of the biggest news aggregators and heavily relies on RSS. That’s just one of the many investments the platform has received, the latest investment round being as recent as 2022. According to Crunchbase, Feedly too had raised over $1 million in funding in 2014. 

This is proof enough that investors believe in the power of RSS and don’t think it is going to die any time soon. Otherwise, you wouldn’t see such huge investments being bumped into RSS-dependent publishers. 

The same RSS publishers are also enjoying monetization opportunities from the service. With millions of active monthly users, sites like Feedly and Flipboard enjoy attractive revenue in the form of premium subscriptions and paid advertising. They also have promoted content where independent publishers pay to have more traffic sent to their sites. 

5. It Is Evolving

Back when RSS was still an alien concept, it was nothing more than links and incomplete headlines. If you look at sites like the Drudge Report, you will quickly get a feel of how RSS feeds used to look back then. Just a bunch of links with no discernible order. 

Luckily, RSS has not stayed the same over the years. It has evolved to meet the needs of its users. For example, many content creators are now using RSS to add podcast feeds to their websites. This is a great way to reach more people with your content. Since podcasts have gained popularity over the years, RSS is is a majorly utilized tool to aggregate podcast content for the masses. 

RSS is also being used to curate newsletters. Publishers can now keep subscribers updated on the latest news and content using RSS. This way, you can never run out of content to send to your subscribers. This will keep you relevant and your audience engaged. 

RSS is being used for many other purposes beyond just content curation. Some examples include creating WordPress job boards, aggregating Facebook RSS feeds from certain pages, as well as Twitter RSS feeds which can also be customized for specific tweets, searches or user feeds.

RSS job board example

These examples further strengthen the fact that RSS is being used more and more for different needs that enhance the value provided to audiences and help increase engagement across the website. This increase in utility goes to show that RSS is, and will be, constantly evolving to keep up with what we need.  

Related Questions

1. Is RSS Coming Back?

Traditional RSS usage may have declined over the years, but its functionality never left. In fact, there have been increasing opportunities to make use of this tool for enhancing content marketing efforts targeted toward niche, more personalized content interests.

2. What Will Replace RSS?

We don’t think RSS will be going away any time soon, but if it were to bow out, it would most likely be because of social media. Although most people don’t trust social media information, the younger generation is not as familiar with RSS feeds as they are with social media. Ultimately, RSS feeds offer a level of transparency and user control over content that social media simply can’t match with its algorithms focusing on sponsored content.

3. What’s the Best RSS Tool?

The best RSS tool is, no doubt, the WP RSS Aggregator. It is easy to use and integrate with your website. It also comes with features such as display theme options, categorization of posts, automated filtering rules, and many more that make the whole content curation process a walk in the park.

Final Thoughts: RSS – Still Kicking and Evolving

Traditional RSS may have been a thing of the past; however, this does not mean that it is dying or is dead. RSS has proven to be an evolving tool that helps connect marketers and website owners with their target audiences who are looking for curated content relevant to their needs., Stay ahead of the game by elevating your content strategy with WP RSS Aggregator, and engage with your audience like never before!

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